S. Korea, US reach deal 'in principle' on FTA, steel tariffs
The United States today agreed to exempt South Korea from steel tariffs, instead imposing a quota on steel imports as the two countries agreed in principle to revise a trade pact sharply criticised by US President Donald Trump.
The partial import duty exemption is likely to lead to some damage to South Korean steel companies although the ratio is higher than what American steel companies demanded. "So we announced the tariff".
No South Korean automakers now export pickup trucks to the United States but Hyundai Motor said past year it planned to launch a model there to catch up with a shift away from sedans.
South Korea's steelmakers rose on Monday, with market heavyweight Posco leading the overall sector after the United States agreed to exempt South Korea from its new steel tariffs. The South Korean economy relies heavily on exports and benefitted from $119.3bn of bilateral trade with the U.S. a year ago. Reducing South Korean non-tariff barriers to U.S. automotive exports has been a priority for the Trump administration.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Washington and Seoul were also near agreement on the steel and aluminium tariffs which Trump recently imposed.
The revisions set a "bad pre-cedent", said law professor Choi Won Mog of Ewha Womans University. "I think South Korea fared well despite the U.S. offensive".
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Within hours of announcing the deal with the US, South Korea already might be attempting to ease the quota limits, according to the Korea Iron & Steel Association.
In return for the exemption, Seoul accepted the USA call to set an import ceiling on South Korean steel products at 2.68 million tons per year, or 70 percent of South Korea's average steel exports to the United States for three years through 2017.
"The Trump administration needed to harvest an outcome from the negotiation to show its supporters", he added, warning that Washington could in future "slap tariffs on semiconductors" - a crucial South Korean export.
South Korea also said it would "take into account U.S. standards and global trends" when Seoul decided its fuel economy and emissions rules from 2021 to 2015.
Kim said on Monday that amendments were agreed to, although he did not elaborate except to state that South Korea made no concessions on its agriculture markets and there were no changes to existing tariffs. United States officials were most interested in the auto trade, he said. It was up from 25,000 vehicles under the current deal.
American Metal Market's pricing assessment for United States import high-collapse seamless P110 casing stands at $1,275-1,300 per ton. Ford Motor Co and General Motors each shipped fewer than 10,000 vehicles from the United States to South Korea past year. "That is free and fair trade".
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